FDNY Dispatchers Suspended Over Ambulance Flap

Three Queens dispatchers were suspended and their supervisor was cited for poor oversight and staffing issues.


Three FDNY dispatchers and their supervisor were to be suspended Friday for botching emergency calls that delayed ambulances to an Easter weekend fire that killed two kids in Queens.

The dispatchers “either failed to properly and promptly notify EMS when required or failed to take steps that would have… facilitated such notification,” according to a Department of Investigation memo to the mayor.

Their supervisor was cited for poor oversight and for not properly staffing the FDNY’s Queens Center of Operation — since two out of six staffers were not in their assigned positions at the time of the fire, the memo says.

The four workers were placed on administrative duty pending suspension.

A number of the staffers, who were not identified, had “prior documented instances related to mishandling of fire incidents,” the memo said.

The supervisor also had a prior case of “failure to supervise.”

Even though ambulances were requested for the fire in Far Rockaway on April 19 at 11:57 pm, dispatchers didn’t relay that message for nearly seven minutes, according to the preliminary investigation.

Paramedics didn’t arrive at the scene of the Bay 30th Street fire until 21 minutes after the initial call to 911.

The fire, which was started by kids playing with a lighter, killed 4-year-old half-siblings Jai’Launi and Anyi Tinglin.

Mayor de Blasio’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But the mayor has expressed concern about the delay, saying, “I do know – we all know – that something went wrong.”

The DOI probe found that not only did the four staffers violate protocol, but that training of dispatchers was generally out of compliance with state guidelines.

Investigators noted that the Queens Center of Operation “has a history of operational weakness, which appears to have contributed to this incident.”

FDNY officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The DOI probe is ongoing, and Queens DA Richard Brown is also looking into the case.